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Google Launches Privacy-focused Tools in Some of its Services

In May, the company opened the new Google Safety Engineering Center where it expects the number of privacy engineers to double by the end of 2019

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FILE - A woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018. VOA

Google has launched couple of privacy-focused tools in its services like Maps and YouTube to protect its users’ data, including new ways to use Google apps with Incognito Mode, and options to automatically delete data like your Location History, searches and other activities.

In May, Google announced that users could automatically delete Location History and Web and App Activity, which includes things they have searched and browsed.

“We’re bringing Auto-delete to YouTube History. Set the time period to keep your data — 3 months, 18 months, or until you delete it, just like Location History and Web & App Activity — and we’ll take care of the rest,” Google said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Incognito Mode” that has been one of the most popular privacy controls since it launched with Chrome in 2008 and came to YouTube earlier this year is now being rolled out in Google Maps.

“When you turn on ‘Incognito Mode’ in Maps, your Maps activity on that device, like the places you search for, won’t be saved to your Google Account and won’t be used to personalise your Maps experience,” said Eric Miraglia, Director of Product Management, Privacy and Data Protection Office at Google.

Users can turn on “Incognito Mode” by selecting it from the menu that appears when they tap profile photo, and can turn it off at any time to return to a personalised experience with restaurant recommendations, information about commute, and other features.

Incognito mode will start rolling out on Android this month, with iOS coming soon.

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FILE – The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

The company said it is also adding new ways to understand and manage your data in Google Assistant.

“First, when you ask questions like ‘Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?’ the Assistant will share information about how we keep your data private and secure,” the company added.

In the coming weeks, users will be able to delete Assistant activity from Google Account just by saying things like “Hey Google, delete the last thing I said to you” or “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you last week.”

Google password manager currently automatically protects passwords across different accounts.

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“We’re introducing the Password Checkup, a new feature that — with one click — tells you if any of your passwords are weak, whether you’ve reused them across multiple sites, or if we’ve discovered they’ve been compromised (for example, in a third-party data breach),” Google announced.

In May, the company opened the new Google Safety Engineering Center where it expects the number of privacy engineers to double by the end of 2019. (IANS)

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YouTube India to Focus on Regional Languages For Driving Creator Growth

According to the company, for the past several years, video has increasingly been a medium that inspired and fascinated Indians and also became the canvas for their imagination

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YouTube creators have become effective storytellers, with more than 1,200 Indian creators crossing the one million subscriber milestone, while just five years ago, there were only two creators with a million subscribers on the platform. Pixabay

Google-owned YouTube, which has more than 265 million monthly active users in India, will focus on regional languages to drive the growth of creators on the platform in 2020, a top company executive has said.

According to Satya Raghavan, Director, Content Partnerships, YouTube in India, the company’s focus on Indian languages will continue and it will encourage more creators to find success on the video sharing platform in the next year.

“In the last three years we saw good growth in regional languages, especially Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. We saw uptake for content in Tamil initially, and Telugu and Malayalam picked up later too,” Raghavan told IANS on Friday.

Other languages such as Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, and Marathi started to evolve on YouTube India in 2016.

These Indian languages continued expanding their verticals, from comedy to gaming to beauty, and today they have a full range of content on the popular video sharing platform.

“In the twelfth year of YouTube’s journey in India, 2019 has proven to be a coming-of-age year in more ways than one,” he noted.

This year, genres such as farming, gaming and learning, grew into categories worth mentioning on YouTube, and hit massive reach and engagement.

According to the company, across categories, women creators were seen leading from the front.

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Google-owned YouTube, which has more than 265 million monthly active users in India, will focus on regional languages to drive the growth of creators on the platform in 2020, Pixabay

While 2016 had just one woman YouTube creator with a subscriber base of over one million, this year saw that number shoot to 120 women YouTube creators with over a million followers.

Asked if women creators did particularly well in a specific genre, Raghavan replied: “They did well in almost every category.”

To further encourage the engagement of viewers and also the growth of creators and content, the company will focus on learning and gaming verticals in the next year.

“We expect to focus more on growing the learning vertical, and especially gaming which will continue to see uptake among people,” noted Raghavan.

Earlier this year, the company, at its annual flagship event Brandcast, had said: “India is now both our biggest audience and one of our fastest growing audiences in the world. YouTube today has become the first stop for users to consume content, whether they’re looking for entertainment or information.”

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Other languages such as Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, and Marathi started to evolve on YouTube India in 2016. Pixabay

YouTube creators have become effective storytellers, with more than 1,200 Indian creators crossing the one million subscriber milestone, while just five years ago, there were only two creators with a million subscribers on the platform.

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According to the company, for the past several years, video has increasingly been a medium that inspired and fascinated Indians and also became the canvas for their imagination. (IANS)